Regional Archaeological Context:
250m from the dolmen, the archaeologist Obermaier found the badly deteriorated remains of a second mound, of which some building materials could be seen. Although it is smaller than the main mound, the remains of 18 to 20 individuals were found. Most of them were crouching against the walls, while others were lying face upwards, oriented vertically with regards to the axis of the collective burial. The skeletons were covered by a hard layer of earth mixed with large pebbles.
Apart from this, Huelva is representative of a large nucleus of the dolmen culture, which goes from the east coast of Andalusia to western Portugal. The important group of dolmens “El Pozuelo” is 23km away, 10km from Valverde del Camino.
The funerary use of the Zancarrón area must have been known since time immemorial. The site was discovered by the land owner, Armando de Soto, when he was digging the foundations for a house in 1922. The excavations began in the same year. The shape of the entrance and the chamber have undergone the greatest alterations, as the standing-stones for the entry were found scattered around in 1923, and two or three of the flagstones that covered the chamber are missing. In 1924 Obermaier published a book giving details of the excavation and the characteristics of the dolmen (Boletín de la Sociedad Española de Excursiones). While few excavations have been carried out since then, the burials and the engravings have been studied. The site was listed as a National Monument in 1931, although the first conservation work did not begin until 1957. In 1981 and 1982, the architect Ismael Guarnier and the archaeologist Fernando Piñón drafted a project for the excavation and restoration of the dolmen.
In 1986 a fallen standing-stone was uplifted and in 1987 the Government of Andalusia purchased the land and improved the protection and access to the site. Finally, in 1990, a new project by the architects Guillermo Duclós Bautista and Juan Manuel Real Molina was aimed at the definitive protection and development of the site, which is still unfinished. The site is protected as a Property of Cultural Interest.
Archaeological evidence at the site:
Guided visits can see the mound on the outside and the inside. This megalithic monument is a “long passage grave”, measuring nearly 21m long and it is the longest dolmen in Huelva and one of the longest in Iberia. It consists of a chamber and “V”-shaped corridor which widens inside.
Dolmen de Soto is one of over 200 megalithic monuments in the province of Huelva, of a kind that were built in western Europe in the Neolithic and Bronze Age. They are sepulchral constructions, generally for collective burials.
The grave goods were quite poor and consisted of stone artefacts such as polished axe-heads and flint knives, as well as hand-made pottery, a conical bone bracelet, some marine fossils and several beads. The fact that the finds were more abundant in the other nearby dolmen suggests that this one was little-used and was soon abandoned and covered by earth.
An artificial mound, 75m in diameter covers the dolmen. It is a passage grave, 20.9m long. Several of the standing-stones have engravings, with one of the largest repertoires in the Iberian Peninsula. The motifs include simple lines, cup-marks, and other signs; as well as daggers, an idol and anthropomorphs, including two that Obermaier interpreted as a mother and daughter. By chance, the remains of a woman and child were found beneath the stone with the engravings.
Although most of the engravings are on both walls of the passage and the chamber, one of them is on one of the flagstones that covered the entrance to the chamber.
The dolmen and its rock art are dated in the Chalcolithic period, between 3800/3000 and 2500 BC. It is difficult to date more precisely because of the scarce grave goods, which had probably disappeared by the time the site was discovered and excavated by the land owner.
Type of Site: Burial Mound and Passage Grav
How to Find the Site: On the old road from Seville to Huelva, after Niebla, take a turning on the right to the access road. On the A-285, from Huelva to Sevilla, turn north half-way along km 619, between Niebla and San Juan del Puerto. On the 436 (San Juan del Puerto-Badajoz) through Trigueros, a metalled farm road leads to the dolmen. 8.6km from San Juan del Puerto and 1.7km from Trigueros, turn southeast and a track is signposted towards the site. A new road makes access easier, as it used to be very difficult in times of rain when crossing Candón stream. The site is on land belonging to “La Lobita” farm, called “Cabecillo del Zancarrón”, in the municipality of Trigueros, and consists of an artificial mound 75m in diameter covering the dolmen.
Telephone: 959 004460
Fax: 959 004448
Location: Cabecillo del Zancarrón
Information and contact:
Person of contact: Mari Carmen Rafallo
Plaza del Carmen 1; 21620 Trigueros / Huelva
Tlf: +34 959 305075 extension 5
Tlf: +34 627 940357 ( Whatsapp)
http: // www.dolmendesoto.org
Guided tour schedules:
For groups (students, associations ...) visits are in the morning on Thursdays, on Friday and Saturdays. To consult conditions in the Tourist Councillorship of Trigueros Town hall.
Free visits schedules:
Brief description of the Museum:
At present, a project of protection and valorization is being elaborated.
Nearby cultural destinations:
The interesting historical-artistic locations of Moguer and Niebla are less than 20km away, as well as the beautiful Gothic-Mudejar church of San Antón in Trigueros.
The dolmen group of El Pozuelo is 10km from Valverde del Camino, in the municipality of Zalamea la Real, near the village of Pozuelo.
Nearby natural destinations:
Natural Park of Sierra de Aracena and Picos de Aroche; Doñana National Park.
Accommodation near the site:
In the towns of Trigueros and Niebla.
Restaurants near the site:
In Trigueros, the other towns that have been mentioned, and other nearby villages.